If you believe that art galleries are all clustered in Central and Hong Kong Island, think again. More and more homegrown art institutions, multi-purpose art spaces and artist’s studios are making Kowloon their home, adding more diversity and creativity across the map. Much like what's happening in Wong Chuk Hang, many of these establishments in Kowloon have been revamped from old industrial buildings and factories into artists’ hubs, such as Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) and Cattle Depot Artist Village. Independent galleries like Swing A Cat Gallery and C&G Artpartment have made big waves in the local art scene too.
Here are the best art galleries and art spaces you need to check out when you’re in Kowloon.
RECOMMENDED: Prefer to stick to one district? You can easily get your culture fix with a visit to the best art galleries in Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun.
Best art galleries in Kowloon
Think of it as a commune for creative minds. Cattle Depot Artist Village is Hong Kong’s most unique artistic hub with 20 art organisations and studios that call it home. The colonial red-brick site alone is like a masterpiece, repurposed in 2001 from a former slaughterhouse. Arguably the most prominent resident there is Videotage, a Unesco-listed art organisation that focuses on new-media work on subjects from local living conditions to food culture. Similarly, 1a Space is dedicated to showcasing a diverse range of large-scale installations. As expected, the exhibitions here are nothing short of spectacular.
Local artists Clara and Gum founded art space C&G in 2007, with a clear vision of using their art as a medium to respond to socio-political issues in Hong Kong. Concerned with the ecology of local art, the duo has also launched educational programmes and interactive public projects to engage greater cultural and artistic dialogues amongst artists in Hong Kong, as well as with other cities. Past projects include burning rituals and soaking art collectively. The Artpartment regularly hosts art-jamming classes, too.
Don’t expect stuffy high art at this non-traditional gallery. This down-to-earth space prefers putting the spotlight on illustrators and comic book artists, most of whom are from Hong Kong and Japan. Enjoy the sketches, sculptures and toys that line the walls and be sure to also check out the gallery’s schedule for live signings and workshops.
Specialising in Chinese and international contemporary art, Geneyclee Gallery has been bringing Hongkongers new exhibitions every month without fail, from Nikhil Patel’s innovative fabric canvas paintings to a show featuring artists discovered on Instagram. Pop along to this art space and acquaint yourself with a diverse range of gifted talents pushing the boundaries of creativity.
With a massive, stylish campus built in 2010, this design school focuses on fashion, products, communications and interior design. The gallery is a 600sq m exhibition space that's open to the public, showing a wide range of art and design, from innovative typography to stunning photography. Check the opening hours, though, as they vary for each exhibition.
Once a factory estate that housed the city’s cottage industries, this site was given a new lease on life as a creative hub in 2008. The space has also allowed experimental studios to thrive, including the likes of Floating Projects, a concept space where creatives collaborate and experiment on interdisciplinary principles. Another noteworthy establishment is Lumenvisum, a non-profit art organisation that showcases local photographers and their refreshing perspectives on topics spanning from relationships with domestic helpers to LGBTI life in Hong Kong.
A hybrid between a retail mall and an art museum, K11 is a unique platform showing pioneering artwork created by Hong Kong artists. Founded by Adrian Cheng in 2008, the art mall collaborates with the non-profit K11 Art Foundation to bring innovative projects and out-of-the-box exhibitions by our local creative talents to a wide audeince.
As we wait for the grand opening of M+, Hong Kong’s pioneering contemporary art museum and supposedly the city’s next big thing, there’s M+ Pavilion to quell our impatience. Inside the sleek architectural structure are a host of thematic shows that provide interesting insight into what to expect at the impending modern art museum.
The brainchild of husband Stephen Case and wife Catherine Tai, an illustrator and graphic designer respectively, Swing A Cat triples as a studio, art gallery and workshop. Aside from semi-regular classes on life drawing and caricature, the space often plays host to exhibitions demonstrating to audiences that sketches can be just as emotive and powerful as more elaborate works.